By Sagir Ibrahim
A Nigerian has recounted her experience travelling from Senegal to Cape Verde and how she and a few others were profiled and deported strictly based on their nationality.
In a series of tweets, which she shared on her twitter page, the lady, known simply as @aloinett, narrated how she and 12 persons were pulled aside at the Praia International airport in Cape Verde, because they were there on a visit.
“Everything was fine until we got to the airport in Praia. Then some of us were pulled aside because we were there to visit. This group included an Italian couple, my Sudanese-American friend, a Spanish couple, a Kenyan, an Ivorian, a Jordanian, a Guinean and four Nigerians.”
She however added that although the intercepted party included people of different nationalities, the “white people” were cleared first.
She said; “All of the white people were allowed to go through as well as my black friend with an American passport. Then some woman came and snatched the passports from the rest of us without any explanation. Another guy came and told us that they were sending us back.”
“Why? That we were not allowed to visit because of COVID. Then we asked why the white people and my American friend were let through. They said they decided who could stay and who could go. So everyone with a Western passport went through. In West Africa. In #CapeVerde.” She tweeted.
The twitter user added that although she decided to embark on the trip, she had initially gotten some red flags as “…the first sign that something was off was when my AirBnB host asked my nationality then told me to come with some evidence of funds if I was traveling with a Nigerian passport. Funny thing is the only thing they looked at were our passports. Didn’t ask for anything else.”
Also, dealing with Senegalese officials was so much better than the rudeness of the ones we met in Cape Verde. Made us feel like human beings and tried their best to help. They were empathetic and sped up the process of returning our passports.
She also added that they were made to wait for hours, “like criminals” to get their passports returned.